Raising The Alarm: Ex-Econ Officials Say Trump Jobs Tweet Needs Investigation

04 June, 2018, 07:57 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump is under fire again, this time for posting a tweet hinting at strong employment figures shortly before the release of a report containing the official data.

Trump was foreshadowing a glowing unemployment report that showed the jobless rate dipped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.

He'd put out a tweet one hour in advance of the official announcement, writing, "Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning".

The night before, under longstanding tradition, the president and several senior administration officials - including the Treasury secretary and the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers - are briefed on the numbers, which they are not supposed to disclose until the report is made public at 8:30 a.m.

"He didn't give any numbers", Kudlow said.

"He chose to tweet, his tweet basically said like everybody else we await the job numbers".

"He simply ignored the wall", New York University presidential historian Timothy Naftali said of Trump's post Friday.

Trump supporters say the president's economic plan and hard-bargaining with other countries is paying dividends for USA workers.

"We are looking at ways to bring temporary immigrants with temporary visas legally into the U.S.in a number of industries", Mr Kudlow told newsmen.

Last month, Trump bragged about classified military strikes in Syria during a private fundraiser with high-dollar donors in midtown Manhattan, according to news reports. He told ABC News that the Obama administration "absolutely interpreted [the Labor Department rule] as applying" to the president himself.

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"People need to stop being so woke", said Neil Dutta, the head of United States economics at Renaissance Macro.

"It's possible. I don't think it has right now", Kudlow continued. Friday's tweet, however, was the first time he's ever spoken about the job's report before it was released.

"All employees of the executive branch who receive prerelease distribution of information and data estimates as authorized above are responsible for assuring that there is no release prior to the official release time", the rule states.

President Donald Trump's top economics adviser acknowledged Sunday the trade dispute with U.S. allies could jeopardize the booming American economy but dismissed criticism of the administration's stance as overblown.

But the same rule also says they employees shouldn't comment publicly on the data until at least an hour after release - a regulation Trump has routinely flouted on social media.

As a result, some "two-thirds of the drop in the unemployment rate in May was because workers found jobs, while about one-third of the drop was from people leaving the labor force", the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute noted.

To many traders it was clear that Trump was signaling the numbers would be good.

"You can read into that 10 different things if you want to read into it", Kudlow said on CNBC.

Tony Fratto, a Treasury Department official who worked in George W. Bush's administration, said that while not illegal, Trump's tease could be deemed inappropriate because "you want market participants to get their data from their government in predictable, official ways, not haphazard ones".

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